Saturday, November 27, 2010


A few pics from our pre-Thanksgiving visit with Shane's family in Alabama. We had lots of fun playing with his nephew and niece in all of the leaves on the farm!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The snow is falling....a great time to cuddle up in a blanket with a good book, light a candle, and enjoy some good quiet time. I absolutely love Anthropologie's Sweater Weather Candle Tins and their yummy scents of winter. And, my favorite read these days is A Praying Life, by Paul E. Miller. This refreshingly honest book is enlivening my dry spirit. Below are just a few statements that Miller makes that I particularly related to...just a taste of what the book has to offer.

"If I get an answer to prayer, sometimes I'll think, It would have happened anyway."

"Come overwhelmed with life. Come with a wandering mind. Come messy."

"If you are going to enter this divine dance we call prayer, you have to surrender your desire to be in control, to figure out how prayer works."

Enjoy this lovely Sunday and be encouraged to pray. The Lord will meet you!! 

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Romans 8:26

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All Is New

We are officially as settled as settled gets for living in an apartment with a month to month lease, one entire bedroom stashed floor to ceiling with boxes, a porch overflowing with bikes and hopes of finding a new place to call home!! I'm not sure how long we will be here, so for now I am trying to live simply. Simply meaning with "less stuff," as well as simply embracing each day and where the Lord has us now. After living on Button Rock for 3 years, by far the longest time I have lived in any one place for quite some time, we are in a new place. In many ways it is a surprisingly refreshing change.  Although only a 10 minutes drive from where we were....all is new. I am soaking up the pastel painted evening skies from my living room window. A short walk away, wrinkled golden leaves frame a new portrait of the rocky range before me. Zipping my fleece tightly around my neck as I prepared to scrape the unwelcome frost from my car window this morning, I wondered in giddy excitement what this next season holds.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall Tex-Mex Meal

After our recent visit to the Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Patch I had an acorn squash and local salsa that I wanted to use in a meal. After searching the web I found this great recipe for Acorn Squash Quesadillas on Smitten Kitchen's website. I changed it up a bit and added roasted red peppers along with the poblano peppers. I also served it "fajita" style instead of making quesadillas.

What a great fall recipe and my hubby loved it as well! Anyone else have a favorite fall recipe to share?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A few shots from our Europe trip last fall....such wonderful memories and great sites!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Snapshots

 A few pictures of fall at our home...visiting the pumpkin patch,
selling our home, moving, and trail running.
Happy Fall Everyone!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Peru - Cusco

This will be our last post before returning home to the states.  Christine and I arrived in Cusco yesterday, after our private taxi/tour through a few of the remaining sites in the Sacred Valley on our way to the big city.  We toured a site of Inka experimental farming as well as a place where salt ponds have been made to allow water to evaporate, leaving the salt behind.  The pictures say it all, and we´ll post soon after returning home. 

We toured around the city yesterday afternoon.  I was definitely surprised by Cusco, as least the area we´re in.  There are some beautiful old buildings and a very vibrant atmosphere.  We took tons of pictures through the city streets, trying to capture the essence of Cusco.  After a quick shower and putting the last of our clean clothes on, we headed to Los Perros Couch & Wine Bar.  It almost seemed as if this place was plucked from New York City or San Francisco and placed in the middle of Peru.  We lounged on sofas, read American magazines (we´re definitely getting into the Peruvian culture!!!), and ate amazing food.  You probably won´t believe me, but I think I had the best burger of my life there.  Other than being huge (we were starving from the day with only a Cliff Bar and some nuts we bought from a street vendor), it was bursting with flavor.  We also had terrific wontons with various dipping sauces and Christine had a vegitarian stir-fry.  We ended the night having fun and interesting conversation with a couple from LA who was on their first day of a year of traveling.  They bought an around the world plan ticket and will be spending their first 3 months in South America.  Of course, it had Christine and I talking about our own lives, as most every conversation here in Peru has. 

We slept in today, this being the only day we haven´t set an alarm....something Christine lobbies occasionally.  We had breakfast at the hostal then headed to visit museums throughout the city.  We had lunch at Jack´s Cafe, with great coffee, coca tea, french toast, and soup.  Now, we´re about the head to yoga.  Yes, can you believe it? My first time taking yoga will be in Peru! After discussing how stiff and tight our bodies feel from not running, biking, or any of the other activities we typically take part in, we ended up behind a yoga instructor at the cafe.  She told us she had a 3 PM class and we were happy to join.

We fly to Lima tomorrow, then home via Miami on Monday, arriving in Denver around 8 PM.  We look forward to catching up with everyone in the coming days.  Until then, take care.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peru Update - Ollantaytambo

Just checking in again from yet another place in Peru.  From Pisac, Christine and I took a taxi to Ollantaytambo, where we boarded a train for Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.  Yes, just as it's name states, AC has hot springs.  It's funny how literal names are here, as well as other foreign countries I've visited.  We seem to spruce things up a bit in the States with names like Brushfire Springs. 

Aguas Calientes was like the Estes Park or Gatlinburg of Peru.  From the moment we got off the train, people were everywhere, trying to sell a trinket or give a guided tour.  Just walking down main street you would be bombarded by workers in restaurants trying to persuade you to come in side...."Happy Hour, 4 for 1!"  Christine and I checked into our hotel then headed out to get a glimpse of the trail up to Machu Picchu.  We planned to wake up early and hike up, rather than take the bus like most everyone else.  We got up around 4 AM, had breakfast at 5, and were out the door by 5:15.  We crossed the bridge and started the ascent when the first bus took off at 5:30.  From the maps, the ascent was approximately 1000 vertical ft, but it definitely seemed much more.  By the time we arrived at the top, there was already a long line of people waiting to enter the ruins.  The reason everyone tries to get there early is a chance to be 1 of the 400 people allowed to climb Huaynu Picchu, the egg shaped peak you see in most every Machu Picchu picture.  We made the cut!

While waiting in line, the rain started to fall.....and fall it did.  It was pretty much relentless the entire day.  We hiked through the ruins to find the entrace gate to HP, met a kid from Durango who was traveling through Boliva, Peru, and Ecuador, and headed up in the cold rain.  When we summitted, we were in a fog.  We did get a 2 sec window where the clouds parted and we could see the ruins, but it was gone in a flash.  We hiked back down, walked to through the ruins, and decided to call it a day by 11 AM. There were no signs of the rain letting up and we were completely soaked and cold. 

We headed back to our hotel for some hot coca tea.  They let us use a room to change into dry clothes and we found a great restaurant with a fireplace, where we stayed for hours.  The rains finally stopped in the late afternoon and we hiked around town taking pictures until our train left at 6:30.  We dined on Nutella and crackers, while we watched a fashion show on the will come later!

We took the train back to Ollantaytambo and slept hard after arriving at our hotel.  Olly is an end of the road town in the Sacred Valley, where most people come through headed to Machu Picchu.  We decided to stay here 3 nights, as the ruins are said to some of the most preserved in the valley.  We were greeted with rain again in the morning, so we took the opportunity to check email and then hung out at a great cafe called Heart.  The quick and dirty is that a 76 year old lady from the UK came to Peru to learn Spanish.  She left Cusco due to the altitude (approx 11,000 fasl) and came to the Sacred Valley where she opened a restaurant where all the proceeds go to helping native Quechua women and children.  It's a pretty amazing story, which I'm sure we'll write more about in the future.  The rian finally stopped around lunch and we headed out on a non-stop 5ish hour hike around the ruins and town.  We topped off the night at supposedly the best restaurant in town, where we had Salmon Trout, Quinoa Soup and Alpaca Ravioli. 

This morning, we awoke to yet more rain, but things are looking up.  We came back to the internet cafe to get some information about where we're staying in Lima, as well as some airport information.  We plan to promote Heart again for lunch, then head out on the Inka Trail for more hiking.  If time permits, we may head out of town to the salt flats which seem to be pretty elaborate. 

For those of you who are keeping track on our whereabouts, we will leave Ollantaytambo tomorrow, midday, and take a collectivo to Cusco, which is the biggest city in the region.  We'll be staying there for another 2 nights, then flying to Lima on Sept 5th.  We only get the afternoon in Lima, then we head back to Denver early Monday morning, Sept 6th, via Miami. 

Christine and I continue to have an awesome time in Peru.  I think this trip thus far, more than any other, has opened our eyes and given us a different perspective on life.  One of the best parts of the trip has been the people we have met.  Unlike any other trip, we meet new and interesting people daily, many of which we've seen before.  They all have stories to tell.  We're able to get a glimpse of who they are and hopefully they leave with a sense of who we are.  We have many stories to tell and pictures to share when we return home, but rest assured we are safe and having a wonderful time. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Peru Update - Pisac

For starters, let´s just say that everytime Christine and I travel to another country, we contemplate never doing it again at some juncture of the trip.  These thoughts came flooding over us as we´re laying on the floor of the airport in Lima Peru, having been awake for almost 24 hours and only knowing that one of our bags is somewhere between there and Denver.  Although, give us a good nights sleep and multiple cups of coffee and we´re good to go!

We flew from Lima to Cusco yesterday morning and took a taxi from the airport to Pisac, a small village about 30 km away.  Pisca is a town of only a few thousand, best known for it´s weekly markets in the square just outside our hotel.  We´ll be able to experience this tomorrow, as Sunday´s market is said to be the largest.  Yesterday was pretty much a blur, going almost 48 hours without quality sleep.  We tooled around town, took a few pictures, and had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel we´re staying at.  We did get to spend the better part of an hour talking to Jose, a hotel worker and Inca descendant.  He told us all about the area, the country and his proud heritage. 

We awoke this morning to beautiful skies, huevos, and more coffee.  We met a few other folks staying in the hotel and discussed our various travel itinerary´s for Peru.  We then geared up and headed up the mountain to view the Pisac ruins.  It seems most tourists take a bus or taxi up a mountain road, dropping them off to either tour the area, or, if they are really adventurous, walk through all the ruins back to town.  The guide books slated this mostly downhill hike as roughly 2 hours.  Christine and I headed straight from town up, which enabled us to visit most of the archeological sites prior to the bulk of the tourists.  When we arrived at the halfway point of our hike (the top) we were greeted by the hoards and they were greeted by many a street seller with anything from beaded bracelets to handmade instruments.  We mostly stayed in the background, eating the snacks we brought, then headed back the way we came.  The hike totalled 4.5 hours, including stops for pictures, snacks, and a brief rain shower which cooled things off quite a bit.

Now we´re back at the hotel.  We´ll probably shower, have an early dinner, and prepare for the masses of the market tomorrow.  We are bracing ourselves for a large number of people, as all the books and websites say Sunday is the day.  We may do another hike tomorrow afternoon, in an attempt to escape the chaos.  Our plan is to leave Pisac for Ollyantatambo Monday morning, catching the train for Aguas Calientes.  We will wake up early on Tuesday and try to be at Machu Picchu for the sunrise. 

Overall, the trip is turning out great.  At no point have we felt unsafe.  Everyone has been extremely friendly and it seems there´s a photo opportunity around every corner, from the colorful dress of the natives, to the towering mountains all around us.  We look forward to sharing pictures and stories when we get back.  Until then, we hope this finds you all well. 

Monday, May 24, 2010


For a full report of Shane's Rainier trip, click the following link:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Backyard Project

For those of you who know me, know that I actually don't have a real backyard.   Although, after working in Lyons for the past 4 1/2 years, I've come to think of the surrounding open space as my own backyard playground.  Within a few miles from work, you have Rabbit Mountain, Picture Rock heading to Heil Valley Ranch, and my favorite of all, Hall Ranch.  All of these provide great hiking, mountain biking, and trail running, with great views from the Front Range to Longs Peak.  I've spent so many hours on these trails, I have become well acquainted with almost every switchback, rock, root, and sweeping view.  Even still, I truly cherish each minute I get to spend moving through these hills and valleys.

With my upcoming climb of Mt. Rainier, I needed some fitness goals to help ensure my preparedness to tackle the highest peak in the continental United States, standing at 14,411 fasl.  With a little inspiration from Anton Krupicka ( I set a modest goal of running the first section (to the first bench) of Hall Ranch 30 times in 30 days.  I also set a few rules to ensure I stayed on target.  One complete run was from the outhouse to the first bench, which is right at 4 miles and 700 vertical feet.  I could run further (which I did quite often) but it only counted as one single climb.  Although, I could complete what I called '2-fers' which meant I could complete 1 full run in the AM and another in the PM or perform back to back runs (to make up for any missed days).

A surprising warm day after recent snow on Hall.....not a soul on the trail!

This goal was just what I needed to stay on track with training for Rainier and I found that I felt better and better each day.  No day was ever the same.  When I began this little project, the weather would swing drastically from day to day.  I ran in 12 inches of fresh snow, in rain, with 40 mph winds and with the sun beaming down.   Christine joined me for many of my runs and we enjoyed running together, sharing our joy of movement while being in the mountains we love so much.

Christine heading to the top...falling in love with trail running with each stride. 

So, today marked my 30th and last day of the Backyard Project.  It also marks one month before I depart for Seattle and set out to achieve yet another goal in front of me.  It was a modest goal that I had set for myself a month ago, but one I felt would cement a solid foundation of fitness.  During this time, I ran 143.8 miles and climbed approximately 24,100 vertical feet.  There was only 2 days in which I didn't run....1 because I forgotten my shoes so I went on a bike ride and the other because Christine and I were in the mountains (tele-skiing cross-training).

To somewhat celebrate the completion of my project (my 30th was on Sunday), I decided it would be fitting to run Green Mountain in Boulder, in honor of the guy that gave me the inspiration.  The run this afternoon truly showed the modesty of my own goal compared to that of loftier runners, but no less diminished what I had set out to do.  So, from 8,144 ft atop Green Mountain, I took a deep breath, thankful for the ability to move, blessed with the opportunity to run in the mountains, and in awe of the beauty surrounding me.   With that, I sped down the trail toward yet another goal, another mountain, another dream.

From atop Green, looking west toward Bancroft.

Looking Southeast over the Flatirons with Denver in the background. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Where Men Win Glory

I've recently been reading the newest Jon Krakauer book, Where Men Win Glory, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.  It has brought my attention to events that I never knew happened and it has also made me evaluate my own life, pursuits, and motivations.  Today, I read a portion of the book that contained an excerpt from Pat Tillman's journal, just before he entered the military, walking away from a multimillion-dollar NFL contract.  The document was titled "Decision," and I thought some might enjoy the read.

Many decisions are made in our lifetime, most relatively insignificant while others life altering.  Tonight's topic....the latter.  It must be said that my mind, for the most part, is made up.  More to the point, I know what decision I must make.  It seems that more often than not we know the right decision long before it's actually made.  Somewhere inside, we hear a voice, and intuitively know the answer to any problem or situation we encounter.  Our voice leads us in the direction of the person we wish to become, but it is up to us whether or not to follow.  More times than not we are pointed in a predictable, straightforward, and seemingly positive direction.  However, occasionally we are directed down a different path entirely.  Not necessarily a bad path, but a more difficult one.  In my case, a path that many will disagree with, and more significantly, one that may cause a great deal of inconvenience to those I love.
     My life at this point is relatively easy.  It is my belief that I could continue to play football for the next seven or eight years and create a very comfortable lifestyle for not only Marie and myself, but be afforded the luxury of helping out family and friends should a need ever arise.  The coaches and players I work with treat me well and the environment has become familiar and pleasing.  My job is challenging, enjoyable, and stokes my vanity enough to fool me into thinking it's important.  This all aside from the fact that I only work six months a year, the rest of the time is mine.  For more reasons than I care to list, my job is remarkable.  
     On a personal note, Marie and I are getting married a month from today.  We have friends and family we care a great deal about and the time and means to see them regularly.  In the last couple months we've been skiing in Tahoe, ice climbing in Utah,  perusing through Santa Fe, visiting California, and will be sipping Mai Tais in Bora Bora in a little over a month.  We are both able to pursue any interests that strike our fancy and down the road, any vocation or calling.  We even have two cats that make our house feel like a home.   In short, we have great life with nothing to look forward to but more of the same.  
     However, it is not enough.  For much of my life I've tried to follow a path I believed important.  Sports embodied many of the qualities I deem meaningful: courage, toughness, strength, etc., while at the same time, the attention I received reinforced its seeming importance.  In the pursuit of athletics I have picked up a college degree, learned invaluable lessons, met incredible people, and made my journey much more valuable than any destination.  However, these last few years, and especially after recent events, I've come to appreciate just how shallow and insignificant my role is.  I'm no longer satisfied with the path I've been's no longer important.
     I'm not sure where this new direction will take my life though I am positive it will include its share of sacrifice and difficulty, most of which is falling squarely on Marie's shoulders.  Despite this, however, I am equally positive that this new direction will, in the end, make our lives fuller, richer, and more meaningful.  My voice is calling me in a different direction.  It is up to me whether or not to listen. 

If you're anything like me, you'll be pondering the words above for days to come!!!!


I am horrible about posting lately! It seems that our weekends have been filled with visitors and trips to the mountains since the holidays, which has not left Shane and I much time to slow down and rest. Although I am not working anywhere close to a 40 hour work week these days, I manage to fill up my weekdays with everything imaginable...from a challenging 6 mile run (pretty good for a former dancer who would only run a mile due to the fact that it would make my legs tight!) with my friend Jamee, to meeting and working with a designer to create a logo for my new business, reorganizing files for the new year, experimenting with new recipes (My latest favorite being homemade granola. I hope to try baking some sweet potato chips this week thanks to my friend Kristin!) and the not so fun never-ending duties of laundry and house cleaning. Today, I finally imported the pictures that were on my camera from Christmas to the computer. Little did I know how refreshing it would be to sit down, flip through pictures on iphoto, reflect and write a few words to whomever might read this blog. I wonder why is it so hard to sit down at times and just relax? Any thoughts? Well, here are a few snippets from the last month. Enjoy!
My Mom and Dad along with his office staff were out here a couple weekends ago for a dental convention in Denver. Shane and I had them over to our house a few times for dinner. We had a yummy breakfast one morning at the tea house in Boulder.

Cameran and Drew visiting from Indy!
While in Michigan with my family I convinced everyone (my sister, her husband Nick, Kim and her boyfriend Noah) to try out cross country skiing on our State Park trails! After a bit of hesitation I think that everyone ended up having a great time! We stopped along the beach afterward to take some pictures.
Lake Michigan
Nick and Lisa, taking one for the team. They were such troopers, after living in Dallas for a year, they are definitely tending towards warmer weather activities!
Nick, Noah, and I excited to hit the trail!
Yes, this is my moms cross country ski gear from who knows what decade. I loved the gaters and the wool knickers! She even let me take them back to Colorado with me.
Dad and Kim, enjoying the Christmas carols.
Nick's family came up to my parents house, along with my Aunt Judy and Uncle Mike. I think we had about 18 people there. His family is very musically gifted as compared to the not so musical "Sitler" family. We enjoyed listening to them play the piano and sing. It was such a great time for everyone!